Mugabe sits pretty while Zimbabwe suffers

The number of deaths per week in Zimbabwe is higher than that of Iraq and Darfur combined, with almost 4,000 people effectively being “exterminated” each week, according to a Zimbabwean human rights lawyer. By Chris Connolly

Cuba without Castro

While Cubans dismiss speculation that Castro's death will lead to another revolution, some think it inevitable that the US will attempt to destabilise the socialist state after his death. By Liz Walsh

Documentary on legal activist and racial bias among American death row inmates

An Irish made documentary entitled "Black Death in Dixie: Racism and the Death Penalty in the United States" will be shown on RTE One on 1 March. It features Bryan Stevenson, an American lawyer who heads the Equal Justice Initiative of Alabama (EJI). The EJI is a private, non-profit organisation that provides legal representation to poor defendants and prisoners in an American state with a death sentencing rate that is three to 10 times greater than that in other Southern States.

Death of Aborigine every 38 hours because of alcohol

Alcohol causes the death of an Aborigine every 38 hours in Australia. Between 2000 and 2004 1,145  Aborigine deaths were caused by alcohol, double the amount of alcohol related deaths in the non-indigenous community. These figures are contained in research from Australia's National Drug Research Institute (NDRI).

Doha trade talks may resume in April

The World Economic Forum (WEF) conference last weekend in Davos, Switzerland, set the scene for the possible regeneration of the Doha round of World Trade Organisation (WTO) talks. The Doha round collapsed last year after five years of discussion on greater freedom of trade in argiculture, manfacturing and services. The latest developments have raised the possibility of the outline of a deal ready by April - a considerable achievement considering the number of countries, vested interests and emotive issues involved.

Concern for hunger strikers at 'Guantanamo North'

Concern is mounting for the health of three detainees being held under 'national security certificates' at Canada's Kingston Immigration Holding Centre (KIHC), otherwise known as ‘Guantanamo North'. Mohammed Mahjoub was detained by Canadian authorities in June 2000 and has been on a liquids-only hunger strike for sixty seven days. Hassan Almrei and Mahmoud Jaballah were detained in 2001, and have been without food for fifty six days. The men are protesting against the conditions of their detention and the secrecy in which evidence against them is being kept.

Lula: Broadening Brazil's hopes

Re-elected in October 2006, Brazilian president Luiz Inacaio "Lula" da Silva has announced his new growth plan which allows for an investment of 511bn Brazilian reals, or €184bn, over his four-year term. This investment is the same as the amount planned for Ireland's newly-announced National Development Plan.

Concern over Sudan's candidature as African Union chairperson

Controversy surrounding the future chairperson of the Afican Union (AU) through 2007 is likely to dominate the eighth summit of the African Union (AU) which opened in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, yesterday under the themes 'Science, Technology and Scientific Research for Development' and 'Climate change in Africa'. Although candidates for the AU chair, due to be elected on Monday 29 January, have not been confirmed, Sudan's president, Omar al-Bashir, is expected to be elected to the position.